From the moody synths of its title screen to our anti-hero’s DeLorean-like flying car, Black Paradox has the 1980s in its blood.
It could almost be an adaptation of a cult sci-fi B-movie from the time, as you zoom through hyper-saturated spacescapes as an interstellar bounty hunter. There’s even a VHS filter that fuzzes the edges of its gorgeous pixel art.
The views might be stunning, but it’s a dangerous job. As you tail ruthless alien criminals, you’ll face plenty of resistance, with waves of ships between you and your target. The object is simple – destroy them before they destroy you – but that’s easier said than done when the bullets, mines and missiles (not to mention asteroids) come this thick and fast.
Black Paradox is tough, then, but it’s the kind of game where you find yourself making progress on every try. Blow up a larger craft and you’ll gain access to a new weapon, from flamethrowers to lasers and the glorious Tesla, which sends out an extra charge to zap anything close to your target. Eventually you’ll have enough energy to call upon the Black Paradox itself, a second car that warps in to temporarily double your firepower.
Once you’ve ticked off one of the names on your wanted list, you get your pick of two drones to deal extra damage. Then, when you’ve collected a few bounties, you can head to the garage to install electronic chips. Among other perks, these can boost your attack output, increase your powers of recovery, or even leech health from your victims.
That’s not to say you can get complacent, because Black Paradox will punish you for letting your guard drop. But even after you take a beating from these vicious villains, this outstanding shooter will keep you coming back for more. And when you do finally take them down? Well, vengeance has rarely tasted sweeter.